Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Coconut Ginger Shrimp and Vegetables

One of my favorite spices is ginger.  I love sweet treats and savory dishes too.  The other night I was trying to come up with an idea for some shrimp that I had purchased.  It was raining and I wanted something comforting without being heavy.  Usually I would opt for a curry, but since I am the ONLY one in my family who likes it, is is unfortunately rare that I pull the "I don't care, I'm the Mom and the cook, so you get it regardless" card.  I happened across a lovely piece of ginger in my fridge and as people say, the rest is history.  Anyway, this dish has a lovely combination of flavors with the vegetables I chose because they don't overpower the coconut ginger sauce.

2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 small onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced6 cloves garlic, minced
5 carrots, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, thinly sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced1/4 c. ginger, minced
3 small zucchini, julienned
1 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 lb. shrimp
1 c. coconut milk

Add the oil into a large saute pan of medium heat.  Put in the onion, cooking until the onion becomes translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the asparagus and carrot and cook 5 minutes.  Add the mushroom, ginger and garlic, cooking about 3-5 minutes until the ginger is very fragrant.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the zucchini and vegetable stock.  Cook until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Reduce the heat back to medium and add the coconut milk, warming for a few minutes.  Then add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is done, about 5 minutes, depending on the size of shrimp.  Shrimp are done just when the start to curl and turn pink.  In a sauce, they will continue to cook so you don't want to leave them on the heat longer than necessary or they will be grainy and chewy.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus

One of the better things about spring has to be the abundance of fresh asparagus.  I know I posted about it earlier, but I love it.  I am even starting to see a few shoot up in my garden now that we are getting a little more moisture.  Yeah!

 I also have a love affair with balsamic vinegar.  I have at least 8 different varieties on hand, but my hands down favorite for all purpose is the 25 year aged one from Williams Sonoma.  It's thick, sweet and has perfect acidity.  This is one that I just drizzle on vegetables as a dressing.  You don't even need the other components for a vinaigrette.  And it works perfectly for this dish.  Plus, I truly think balsamic and portabello's were meant to go together.  Similar to my love affair with beets and goat cheese...can't wait for my beets to be ready!!

2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 portabello mushroom caps, diced
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. balsamic
2 tbsp. ghee

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken, cooking until chicken is almost done, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove the chicken, add 1 tbsp. additional oil if needed, increase the heat to medium high and add the onions.  Cook until the onions start to caramelize.  Add the asparagus and mushrooms, cooking an additional 5-7 minutes until the asparagus is crisp tender.  Add the chicken stock and reduce by half, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the chicken, balsamic and ghee, reduce heat to medium, and stir until sauces thickens, about 3-5 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Frittata's may sound fancy and difficult, but they aren't.  They are also great to make ahead and heat up when you are in a hurry.  Frittata's are similar to an omelet, except the eggs are finished in the oven, giving them a puffy, light texture.  As with any egg dish, the additional ingredients are adaptable.  Since asparagus is in season right now, you're going to be seeing it a lot in my recipes.  

1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 c. asparagus, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 c. chives, chopped
6 eggs
1/3 c. almond milk
2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 10 inch nonstick fry pan, heat oil over medium heat and add asparagus, cooking until crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus stalks.  While asparagus is cooking, whisk eggs in a bowl.  Add the almond milk, and using an immersion blender, mix well.  (Trust me, the immersion blender is an important step to a perfectly fluffy egg mixture!)  Add the chives and prosciutto to the asparagus and mix well.  Increase heat slightly, and slowly add the egg mixture.  While the egg is cooking, slowly lift up the edges as they set with a spatula, tilting the pan as you lift so the eggs run underneath.  Continue lifting edges until the base looks about 2/3 of the way done.  At that point remove from the stove top and place in oven, allowing it to finish cooking, about 5-7 minutes.  Finish with salt and pepper.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tuna Salad

Whew...it has been a busy week.  The weather seems to finally be normal for this time of year so that means time is spent outdoors.  A lot.  Between getting my garden planted, decks stained, baseball games and longer daylight hours, I have been super busy.  That means a lot of salads and leftovers.  

Today was no exception, so by the time 1:30 rolled around I realized I was hungry.  I've been eating salad quite a bit but wanted to change up my normal greens with dressing.  Once in a while I crave a tuna sandwich, so this is what I came up with.  

2 cans quality tuna, not drained
1 avocado, mashed
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 c. jicama, diced
1/2  cucumber, diced
4 c. spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar

Mix the undrained tuna and avocado in a large bowl.  Add the lemon juice and then mix again.  Fold in the tomatoes, jicama, cucumber and spinach until everything is coated well with the avocado dressing.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chicken/Lemon Basil Sauce/Spaghetti Squash

Something I do to make lunch time a little easier is grill a few chicken breasts to last me the week.  With the weather warming up and longer days, it takes quite a bit of effort to bring myself indoors when I can be out gardening, mowing the lawn, or, my favorite, laying in the hammock reading a book.

Recipes are a lot more fun if you have a well stocked fridge and you can make it up as you go.  And that is just what I did.

I had cooked a spaghetti squash the day before this recipe, meaning to use it that night, but ended up doing something else.  I also had picked up a big bunch of fresh basil as mine are still in the baby plant stage awaiting transplantation into my garden.

I changed this recipe so it could serve four and here's what I came up with...

1 lb. chicken breasts, grilled and diced
1 spaghetti squash, cooked
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1 c. white wine
1 c. chicken stock
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 tbsp. ghee
1 c. basil, chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until warm, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove the chicken, set aside and then add the wine and reduce by half.  Add the stock and lemon juice, cooking until reduce by half again.  Add the ghee, whisking as the ghee incorporates into the liquid.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce the heat to medium and put the chicken back in the pan along with the basil and squash.  Using tongs, mix and stir, cooking an additional 3-5 minutes so all the ingredients are heated through.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Coconut Syrup

One of my favorite syrups of all time is a buttermilk based, buttery sugary concoction with a bit of coconut extract.  I adapted it quite a bit for the 21 Day Sugar Detox I did, but since it was Sunday morning I thought I would try to treat myself a bit.  Maybe it was the insane amount of jealousy I was experiencing knowing a few friends were enjoying a to die for breakfast from Snooze in Denver.  Go there, you must.  

Anyway, I try to stay away from overly sweet items for breakfast, because for some reason they seem to set the tone of my day.  But again, I was so envious I thought I'd try to make something a little reminiscent of my favorite dish there, the OMG French Toast.  (So not even CLOSE to paleo, but so incredibly worth the cheat!)

It was perfect!  The balance of sweet, savory and tart was spot on if I do say so myself!

The pancake recipe is here.  Of course, I omitted the blueberry and just used fresh raspberries as a filling in between each pancake.

Coconut Syrup

1/2 c. almond milk
1 c. coconut butter
1/3-1/2 c. raw honey to taste
pinch of salt

Gently heat the milk and coconut butter over medium heat in a small sauce pan.  Whisk until the coconut butter is incorporated into the milk.  Add the honey, again whisking until it is mixed well and starts to thicken.  Finish with a pinch of salt and mix again.  Will keep for about one week.  Reheat slowly over medium heat.